Ella Top

Ella Top :: Dandelion Drift

Gosh I’ve been doing a lot of sewing for myself lately.  And it really has been fun!  I’ve been trying to think a lot about what I sew for myself before I begin .  I’ve been choosy about my patterns, choosy about my fabrics, choosy about my finishes.  I really want to sew myself clothes that are wearable, clothes that I will reach for any day.  And since I really want to wear my clothes frequently, I’ve been making sure they are finished nicely, inside and out.  This means my sewing is a lot slower, but that’s okay with me.  I’ve said this many times, but I sew because I enjoy the process.  Not because I want to be a sweat shop and churn out as much as I can as quickly as I can!

Ella Top :: Dandelion Drift

Want to hear about the shirt I just finished?  I started this during selfish sewing week, but wasn’t able to finish it entirely until this week.  This is the Ella top by Liola Designs.  I picked it up at the Indie Sew shop and I LOVE it!  I paired this pattern with a quilting cotton.  I know, I know, you aren’t supposed to sew clothes out of quilting cotton.  The weight and drape of the fabric is usually all wrong.  But this is art gallery quilting cotton.  It’s entirely different than other quilting cotton out there.

Ella Top :: Dandelion Drift

The fabric is by Bonnie Christine from her winged line for art gallery fabric.  I ordered just one yard and really squeezed the pattern onto my little one yard cut!

Ella Top :: Dandelion Drift

I veered off the pattern just a little bit when I was sewing.  I cut out the size small, which is where my measurements put me.  I decided to shorten the front hem by 1 inch and then did a teeny tiny baby hem to help all of the curves of the hem lie flat.  There’s a great tutorial for baby hems on the Colette site.

Ella Top :: Dandelion Drift

I also am in love with Rachael’s tutorial for finishing off neck and arm holes with knit fabric.  She has a great tutorial here.  And I was so glad to have a few scraps left of Bonnie’s knit fabric (from my maxi skirt) that matches these little birds perfectly.  Want to see what the insides look like?  Pretty, huh?

Ella Top :: Dandelion Drift

The last change I made was to french seam the sides.  Oh yeah, I also wanted my yoke to hide all of the raw edges, so I used Grainline’s tutorial for that.  Amazing people on the web with all of their amazing tutorials!

Ella Top :: Dandelion Drift

So what do you think?  Liola patterns has three patterns out, two down (the natalie top can be seen here), and I have her third pattern cut out (the Molly cardigan).  Her designs are clean and her directions are clear and I’m just loving her style!  What have you been sewing lately?

Ella Top :: Dandelion Drift

Pattern :: Ella Top, size small

Fabric :: Birds Peck by Bonnie Christine for art gallery fabrics

Outfit Breakdown :: Ella Top, white jeans (Old Navy), Elle sandals, bracelets (c/o trashy crafter)

Selfish Sewing Week :: Pencil Skirt

pleated pencil skirt 3

What kind of sewing is your favorite sewing?  Is it sewing gifts for others?  Sewing things for your kiddos?  Sewing for your husband?  I definitely love any kind of sewing, but my favorite, by far, is sewing for myself!  Any kind of sewing for myself.  Sewing for my house (I just finished sewing some curtains for Bubba’s room), or sewing my clothes!  It’s selfish sewing week, which is giving me all kinds of inspiration to whip up a few things for myself!

pleated pencil skirt 2

I started my selfish week of sewing by working on this pencil skirt.  It’s the Pleated Pencil Skirt by Delia.  This is my first try at sewing a pencil skirt and I have to tell you I was a bit nervous.  It’s a form fitted skirt, so I knew fit was very important.  With Delia’s pattern, though, I shouldn’t have been nervous at all.  It was a super easy make and fit me perfectly!  Delia’s directions are very clear.  She walks you through sewing the pattern, but also explains how to blend between different sizes.

pleated pencil skirt 6

I had the hardest time trying to decide what fabric to use for this pattern.  I was this close to buying striped fabric for the skirt when I was out shopping with friends over the weekend, but my indecisiveness won over and I walked away leaving the stripes at the store.  I am so glad I left those stripes behind because I found this coral lace fabric I had in the closet.  Second time sewing with lace and I LOVE how it turned out!  Oh, the lining fabric was a thrift store find also…nothing like sewing from your stash!

pleated pencil skirt

Let me tell you a few pattern changes I made.  They are minor, but they helped me achieve the look I was going for.  With the lace, I knew that I didn’t want any of my seams or darts to show through, so instead of lining the skirt like Delia guides you through, I underlined it.  When you underline, you treat the lining piece and the skirt piece as one.  I actually basted my lining to the lace.  There’s a good explanation of underlining here if you want to give it a try.

pleated pencil skirt 7

I also took the side seams in by 1/8 of an inch on either side.  My measurements put me right in between the size 4 and size 6.  I cut out the size 6, knowing that it is always a lot easier to take in the pattern if needed.  This worked out perfectly.  I think this might be the best fitting garment I have ever sewn.  The skirt fits me perfectly!

pleated pencil skirt 4

The last change I made was shortening the hem a bit.  The pattern pieces are long enough that you could end the skirt right below your knees.  I asked Josh which length he preferred, below the knees or right above the knees.  He chose above, so above I hemmed.  I wasn’t sure how I should finish off my bottom hem, with the lace and lining as one fabric.  I ended up using bias tape around the bottom edge of the fabric, and then turning up the hem and hand stitching it in place.

pleated pencil skirt 5

Anyone sewing something for themselves this selfish sewing week?  Need some inspiration?  Rachael over at Imagine Gnats has a whole slew of inspiration for you this week, and you can also pop on over to Kollabora to see even more sewing going on!

I want to try and start including a quick break down of pattern, fabric, and outfit info at the bottom of my post…so here goes…

Pattern :: Pleated Pencil Skirt size 6

Fabric :: Coral lace from the Sewing Studio and Nude lining from the thrift store

Outfit Breakdown ::  Pencil Skirt, Natalie Top (blogged here), Lands End Canvas belt, Chaps shoes

Delia provided the Pleated Pencil Skirt pattern for me, which I then sewed and shared my honest opinion with you here! 

Geo Pop Canvas

geo pop bag

Do you ever have something that you feel like you have to buy right away?  You can’t wait.  Sometimes I wonder if I’m like a toddler at the grocery store check out line, as they point to a candy bar whining “I want it now!”  That’s how I was with the Cooper Sewing pattern, but then I let the thirty something year old me talk myself into waiting.  I patiently watched this pattern go on sale and then decided to put it on my Christmas wishlist.  That was last year, and my sweet sister in law gifted it to me.  And then, wah wah, I let that poor pattern just sit in my sewing room for 9 months.  9 whole months.  Crazy how something I wanted so badly I let collect dust on the shelves of my sewing room for almost a whole year.

geo pop canvas cooper bag

Well, this pattern rightly was dusted off and put to good use this past weekend.  There’s a new fabric line coming out that I was able to take a peek at and play around with!  It’s designed by Emmie K for Robert Kaufman and it’s full of bold colors printed on canvas, called Geo Pop Canvas!  Perfect pairing for the cooper bag.

geopop canvas

I kind of love each print in this fabric line, and am so thrilled that I was able to sew with all these blue colors….that’s my favorite color after all!

geopop cooper

Want to know about the Cooper bag?  This was my first time sewing it up, and it can be a little intimidating at first sight.  There are lots of pattern pieces, but all those pattern pieces add up to one well designed bag.  I’m kind of in the camp that these pattern pieces help make this bag look legit…not homemade!  And the pattern pieces all fit together perfectly!

geopop canvas bag

I do have one little caution to throw out about the pattern.  What Colette calls as the main fabric, I would definitely deem the accent fabric.  In my pictures, the solid blue is called the main fabric (according to the pattern pieces) while the print is called the accent fabric.  That threw me for a minute, and that definitely could just be the way my brain works.

geo pop canvas cooper

I did make just a couple of pattern changes.  I made my own straps, in lieu of cotton webbing.  I wanted my blue to match perfectly.  There is an add on to the pattern that you can purchase to help you with that, but I knew what to do already.  I also lengthened some pattern pieces to help get the whole repeat of a print on there.

geo pop canvas bag

This is definitely a pattern I will sew again.  And these fabrics are something I would love to play around more with.  I have my eye on the multicolored print you can see here!  You can read more about Emmie K and Geo Pop Canvas on the Robert Kaufman site here or on her own site heregeo pop cooper

These fabrics were provided for me, but all opinions are, of course my own!  This fabric is truly great!

This entry was posted in Sewing.

Fall Sewing with Indiesew

Commuter Cowl and Natalie Top :: Dandelion Drift

Has the weather started cooling off for you all yet?  It’s just getting hotter and hotter here in Florida, but I’m dreaming of cooler temperatures.  If you dream it, it will come, right?

Natalie Top :: Dandelion Drift

I love cooler weather for so many reasons.  Okay, maybe I should pause for a minute.  I might define cooler weather a little bit differently than you.  I have almost always lived in a tropical climate, so cooler means anything in the 70s.  Back to why I love it cooling off.  Cooler weather means I get to wear all of my fun layering clothes that hardly come out.  Cooler weather means snuggles on the couch.  Cooler weather means camping is possible again.  Cooler weather…who am I kidding.  It’s just a dream right now for me, but it might be your reality, and a girl can dream!

Natalie Top :: Dandelion Drift

So fall sewing was on the brain and Allie from Indiesew asked if I’d like to sew a few of their patterns they have bundled up into their fall collection.  Have you heard of Indiesew yet?  It’s this pretty neat storefront (online) that has a selection of great indie women’s sewing patterns.  A good selection of sewing patterns all in one location, and if you need a little inspiration, sewists have uploaded photos of their creations to the shop so you can peak around at what everyone has been making.  Great idea, huh?  And take a look at their fall collection, two tops, two bottoms, two accessories, all great patterns (one of which I already own, the Hudson Pants and would absolutely put them into my fall must have sewing list).

fall-collection-collage-cover-v2

I was excited to try a few new patterns and a new to me designer.  Let me start with the new to me designer.  I sewed the Natalie top by Liola Patterns.  I knew that I could use a new chambray shirt and had the perfect Robert Kaufman chambray fabric.  (I’ve used this fabric to sew a pair of shorts that I love, and I promise, promise, promise that I won’t wear this shirt with those shorts…that would just be awkward!)  This pattern was great.  The pieces lined up perfectly, it printed out easily, and the directions were incredibly clear.  I definitely would try another Liola pattern.

Natalie Top :: Dandelion Drift

The next item I sewed was the commuter cowl.  Would you believe this is the first scarf I have sewn?  This isn’t an ordinary scarf, though.  Shannon takes a simple cut of fabric, and just with a few cuts, a few folds, a few stitches, and a few twists you have a really awesome cowl!  I love this scarf and will definitely wear it often.  Shannon’s directions are clear.  If you follow her steps, just as she laid out, your scarf will come together quickly and easily.  I used a bit of plaid flannel I had picked up at Jo Anns last year in a super clearance deal.  Gah…I love this cowl.

Commuter Cowl :: Dandelion Drift

So fall sewing has commenced over here, now let’s get some fall weather rolling in!  I’m ready to bundle up in all these fun clothes and go camping!

Commuter Cowl :: Dandelion Drift

Sew A Maxi Skirt

Happy short four day week!  I love a week with a holiday in it!

Sew a Maxi Skirt :: Dandelion Drift

Today I’m over at Imagine Gnats talking about this maxi skirt I sewed up with some more art gallery knit!  Have I told you I love art gallery knits yet?  They are dreamy!  I might have to make myself a whole wardrobe out of them, and then it’ll feel like I’m wearing jammies all the time!  Is that allowed?  Well, come take a look at the maxi skirt and all the details!

Pleated Knit Skirt Tutorial

Pleated Knit Skirt Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

How has back to school been for everyone?  As a homeschooling mom, I was not looking forward to back to school.  I enjoy the schedule free days of summer, but it has been great for our little family.  Sweet Pea and Bubba have done really well going back to school, ahem, in our dining room.  We have eased back into it, I think mostly for my sake.  It’s hard to get back into a routine, but it has been good!

Pleated Knit Skirt Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

A few weeks ago I ordered this great knit fabric from Rachael.  (It’s no longer available in the Imagine Gnats shop, but here‘s a link to the fabric on the Art Gallery site.)   I have to admit that I purchased these cute little girls on bikes to make a shirt for Sweet Pea, but was so smitten with the fabric when it arrived that I put it in the pile of fabric to sew for myself.  Let me gush for a minute about Art Gallery Knits.  They are so soft, the perfect weight, and just all around good quality knits.

Pleated Knit Skirt Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

This skirt is just a simple inverted box pleated skirt with a knit waistband.  It was really easy to make and I love how it turned out!  Want to learn how to make one for yourself?  I made a little tutorial for you so you could sew along!

Pleated Knit Skirt Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

You just need two easy measurements that are illustrated below for you.  Once you have these numbers written down, grab 1 1/2 yards of knit fabric and we’re ready to start cutting and sewing!

Pleated Knit Skirt Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

When you are cutting out your skirt, the stretch (or the stretchiest direction) should go across your body, so across the long sections of your skirt!

The cut list requires a little math, but nothing scary.  And we are cutting two waistband pieces and two skirt pieces (one for the front and the back).

For your waistband fabric, take 1/2 W and subtract 1 inch.  We’ll cut this number by 6 inches.  My W is 28, so 1/2 is 14 inches, minus one is 13 inches.  I cut two waistband pieces 13 in. by 6 in.

Your skirt fabric, we’ll use 1/2 W again, but now we’ll add 16 inches.  And we’ll cut that number by L plus 1.  So 1/2 W for me is 14, plus 16 equals 30 inches.  My L measured 16, so L plus 1 is 17.  I cut two skirt pieces 30 in. by 17 in.  Don’t forget the stretch of the fabric should go along the long numbers!

Pleated Knit Skirt Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

The math was the hardest part of this tutorial.  Now that you have that done, we are ready to sew!

  1. Put your waistband pieces right sides together and sew along the two short ends.  Set this piece aside for now.
  2. With your two skirt pieces, right sides facing up, we are going to measure out our pleats.  Measure in 3 inches in from the side seam and place a pin.  Now measure every two inches and place a pin.  You should have a pin placed at 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13 inches.  Do this from the left and right sides of both skirt pieces.
  3. Now we’ll make our inverted box pleats.  In the illustration above, there are four pins that are black.  Have the pin to the right and the pin to the left of these black pins meet in the middle (where the black pin is).  Pin the pleats in place.  Once you are happy with the pleat placement, baste the top edge.
  4. Lay your two skirt pieces, right sides together and sew along the shorter sides.
  5. Fold your waistband piece in half, long ways.  With your skirt right side out, place the waistband over the skirt.  Align the top edge and stitch in place.  Fold your waistband up, top stitch if you would like, hem your skirt and you are done!

tutorial knit skirt

 

 

Joey Dress Pattern

Joey Dress Pattern

Sweet Pea has been getting a lot of sewing for her around here!  I have been sewing for myself also, but just haven’t had the time to photograph it!  Sweet Pea and I have this photo thing down to a 10 minute process.  I usually have a location in mind, drive the van up, hop out with my girl and quickly get as many pictures in as I can, in 10 minutes flat.  I don’t want her growing up hating that I took her photos, so anything I sew for her, I ask if she minds if I photograph .  I, on the other hand, take a little bit longer to photograph, what with the prep and my finickiness.  We’ll have to talk about that another time!

Joey Dress Pattern

You probably want to hear more about the dress and less about our photos!  This is a new dress pattern out by Toni of Make it Perfect….it’s the Joey dress!  Cute name, huh?  Toni just did a pattern parade showcasing all of her great patterns over at her blog…you should take a look!  All of the projects turned out great!

Joey Dress Pattern

Okay, back to the dress.  Sweet Pea is smitten with anything made out of knit fabric, so I knew this joey dress would be a hit with her!  I decided I wanted to combine a few prints in this dress, so the top is this cute floral (leftover from this tee project here) and the bottom of the dress is a tiny little stripe (leftover from this dress here).  I love how the two fabrics paired together, and really love how this dress turned out!

Joey Dress Pattern

Other than sewing with knit fabric, Sweet Pea is sure to smile if pockets are included in her clothes!  I guess I’m just like her, pockets really make my day.  And pockets in a dress are even better!

Joey Dress Pattern

I love the little details in this dress.  The pockets are a given, I love them!  but I also love the sleeves.  The top of the sleeve is gathered, but there is also a bit of gathering down by the band!  Awesome little detail!  I truly think it’s details like these that make a pattern!

Joey Dress Pattern

Happy sewing my friends!  Hopefully I’ll be back next week to show of some things I’ve been sewing for myself!

Crew Cuts Knock Off

J Crew Knock Off Dress

 

If you know me in real life you know that I am frugal.  Cheap.  I don’t spend money easily.  And maybe that’s where my DIY loving heart started dreaming up dreams.  Who knows how I landed being a girl who loves to make pretty things, but I do know that I love to create.  I love the whole process of it, from finding ideas, working on each small step of the project, and finally getting to see the outcome.  Now there are times that I have to walk away from something, like when I have to seam rip the exact same seam three times.  (That happens to me often.)  But overall, I love every step of making!

Knock it off j crew

This dress was inspired by a dress I’ve seen in a store.  Okay, inspired might be the wrong word.  This dress was completely copied, top to bottom, inside to out, from a J. Crew dress.  This copying was perfect for a series Heidi at Elegance and Elephants asked if I would like to participate in, her Knock it Off series.

Knock Off Crew Cuts

Here are the dress details.  I started with Dana’s First Day Dress pattern, but made a list of changes.  I cut out the peplum bodice, lowered the neckline, narrowed the shoulders, and attached my own gathered skirt that was 2 1/2 the width of the bottom of the bodice.  I fully lined the dress, all using materials I had on hand.  The white fabric is an Ikea sheet that I had cut up for some other project and had bits and pieces leftover.  I did have to buy the gold paint for my project, but $2 isn’t too bad for a J. Crew look alike, is it?

Crew Cuts Knock Off Dress

stampint

The paint took a long time.  A really long time.  Each night I would grab my supplies and start stamping.  It was kind of soothing to stamp over and over and over.  The tiny dots were stamped with the head of a pin.  And those triangles were stamped with a cork that I had cut to the right shape and size.  If you look closely, it definitely isn’t perfect, but that doesn’t bother me.

Crew Cuts Knock off

Sweet Pea exclaimed that she looks like an Egyptian in this dress!  We are reading a series on Egypt right now, so Egyptian princesses must be on her brain!  Well maybe with all that gold she does look like royalty!

Knock Off J Crew

If you are interested in knocking off your own outfit, link it up to Heidi’s flickr pool.  She has some amazing prizes in store, over $100 worth of prizes!  And make sure to check out what the other ladies have made these past few weeks, Heidi’s been posting the details on her blog…there’s some amazing inspiration out there!

J crew knock off

City Gym Shorts

City Gym Shorts

Wow…this summer has been a whirlwind.  I know I’ve said that a few times, but we have been going non stop for the past four weeks.  And we are finally home and have no plans this week!  Woot!

City Gym Shorts

So what did I do?  As soon as we arrived home, I saw this pattern over at The Purl Bee for a free pattern for a pair of shorts, the City Gym Shorts.  This is what Sweet Pea would live in every day if she had enough pairs piled in her drawer.  Who am I kidding, I would live in these shorts every day!

City Gym Shorts

Sweet Pea’s new shorts are made out of cotton tencel chambray for the back, a scrap of polka dotted fabric for the front, and then I had the tinniest piece of vintage floral linen I had scored at the thrift store a few months back that I picked up to turn into bias tape.  That vintage fabric is my favorite!  Whoever sent the small scrap to the thrift store, thank you…I’m in love!

City Gym Shorts

Sweet Pea’s measurements put her in a size 8, but I went ahead and sized up to the 10, knowing that a little less elastic would make these work perfectly now, and last her a bit longer too!  The only pattern modification I made was to add a few stitch lines to the elastic waistband.  It’s the same technique from the Hudson Pants, just ensuring that the elastic won’t flip and twist when it is washed!

City Gym Shorts

I think I may need to cut a few more City Gym Shorts out this week, maybe sneaking a few pair in for myself!  :)